Maybank myimpact SME leads the way in championing sustainability for SMEs

With SMEs poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of global commerce, Maybank stands ready to support them with Maybank myimpact SME.

IN AN era where sustainability has become a cornerstone of global business practices, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) stands as a guiding light for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) aiming to thrive in the global marketplace.

With Maybank myimpact SME, an initiative designed to assist SMEs in navigating the complexities of the global sustainable supply chain, Maybank is poised to revolutionise the landscape for sustainability within SMEs.

Maybank community financial services group chief executive officer Syed Ahmad Taufik Albar emphasises that Maybank myimpact SME has been strategically crafted to address the various challenges faced by SMEs venturing into sustainability-driven initiatives.

Maybank recognises the constraints SMEs encounter on their journey towards sustainability.

Syed Ahmad Taufik AlbarSyed Ahmad Taufik Albar

Key barriers to compliance

Citing an earlier article by The Star, Taufik highlights four key barriers—lack of awareness, regulatory barriers, limited expertise, and cost—that hinder SMEs from becoming ESG compliant.

He notes that financial limitations often hinder SMEs from implementing sustainable practices due to the upfront costs associated with certifications, audits, and new technology installations.

Additionally, he says human resources constraints present an obstacle as SMEs struggle to build expertise in sustainable supply chain management, lacking the necessary skilled personnel to manage the complexities effectively.

Addressing compliance and visibility issues, Taufik points out the complexity of sustainability standards and regulations that vary by country and industry.

He believes SMEs find it overwhelming to keep track of evolving regulations.

“Demonstrating sustainable practices throughout the entire supply chain, from raw materials to finished products, requires robust tracking and data collection systems. This can be difficult for smaller companies,” he adds.

Additionally, Taufik says, obtaining certifications such as ones for sustainability or halal businesses, adds another layer of complexities.

Market access and competition present further challenges for SMEs, according to Taufik.

He acknowledges that competing with established players with global networks and brand recognition can be daunting for SMEs.

“Larger companies with existing global networks and brand recognition may have an advantage in securing contracts with sustainability-focused buyers,” he says.

Additionally, Taufik says rising costs, uncertain returns on investment, and low uptake of sustainability products further compound the challenges.

Despite these challenges, the benefits of sustainability adoption are immense.

Taufik highlights that many SMEs have misconceptions about sustainability being a costly endeavour with uncertain returns often deter SMEs from fully embracing it.

However, he underscores that integrating sustainability into business operations offers SMEs a competitive advantage, positioning them as robust players amongst competitors.

By streamlining operations for greater efficiency, ensuring fair labour practices, and complying with trade regulations, he believes businesses can thrive sustainably.

They include future-proofing businesses by meeting sustainability trade requirements, achieving cost savings, reducing negative environmental impact, accessing wider markets, unlocking incentives and investment opportunities, and enhancing brand image and reputation.

He also emphasises the need for SMEs to seize the opportunities in adopting sustainable practices and highlights the efforts of companies worldwide in lowering carbon emissions, reducing waste, and improving labour conditions through sustainable practices.

The role of financial institutions

Taufik notes the pivotal role of Maybank myimpact SME in overcoming the above mentioned hurdles and guiding SMEs through the complexities of the global sustainable supply chain.

Taufik says Maybank myimpact SME serves as the sustainable and values-based solutions for SMEs, facilitating, guiding, aiding and ultimately financing SMEs in the full suite of ESG for their success in the global supply chain.

By offering practical tools, expert consultancy, seamless certification facilitation and tailored financing solutions, he adds, Maybank enables SMEs to embrace sustainability effectively.

With Maybank myimpact SME, companies can kick-start their sustainability path by utilising the complimentary online ESG readiness assessments and carbon footprint calculator to assess their company readiness and knowledge.

To kick-start their sustainability path, SMEs can utilise the complimentary online ESG readiness assessment and carbon footprint calculator to assess their company’s readiness and knowledge.

SMEs can also access consultancy and advisory services to begin their sustainability initiatives with Maybank’s partners who are industry leaders in their field. These consultants can also provide specialised training and workshops and facilitate certifications for aspects like halal and green building.

Maybank myimpact SME also provides access for tailored solutions to specialised offerings from Maybank partners, such as solutions for solar panel installations and green fleet solutions.

These partnerships enable SMEs to seamlessly and conveniently explore and implement sustainable energy solutions effectively, further enhancing their commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability.

“We understand the pain points SMEs face when adopting sustainable practices. By addressing your sustainability challenges, we help you navigate the transition smoothly, with the support of our partners and their solutions.

“Once you’re ready to embark on your sustainability journey, we’ll be there with the right financial support to match your unique business requirements.“

Accessible solutions for small businesses

As a one-stop integrated and holistic ecosystem for Malaysian SMEs, Maybank myimpact SME offers both banking and beyondbanking solutions based on sustainable and values-based principles to navigate SMEs to succeed in the global supply chain.

Through Maybank myimpact SME, SMEs can access digital financing or loan options of up to RM20mil with an online application process.

Following the application, Maybank proactively engages with SMEs to recommend the most appropriate financing solutions tailored to their specific business requirements.

“By offering a complete banking and beyond banking solutions to SMEs, Maybank is able to equip the companies to be global-ready,” Taufik says.

“With Maybank myimpact SME, we aim to grow and empower the 1.2 million SMEs in Malaysia to succeed in the global supply chain in their sustainability path,” he says.

Maybank currently supports about 67% of SMEs in Malaysia.

“The journey with Maybank myimpact SME is only just the beginning as we constantly innovate and expand our offerings to help optimise every aspect of our SME customers’ businesses. Maybank is committed to being your partner for success in navigating the ever-evolving business landscape,” Taufik explains.

“Maybank myimpact SME serves as the conduit to our sustainability and values-based aspirations but the bigger ideal is to facilitate SMEs from optimising and streamlining their business operations for greater productivity and revenue opportunities, comply governance requirements and then provide an inclusive and compelling financing solutions to cater to all SMEs.”

“Our goal is to not only meet our customers’ needs, but to exceed them. We strive to create a positive impact on our customers, communities and environment, and we invite our customers to join us make an incredible impact on their business success, based on sustainable and values-based principles,” he continues.

“This is our drive to ‘Humanising our Financial Services,’ offering both banking and beyond banking solutions to be the true partner for our customers’ success journey with Maybank,” Taufik concludes.

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